Instant Pick-Me-Up: Jo Malone London's Free Hand and Arm Massage

Jo Malone London was destined to be my happy place because (1) I love graphic black and white decor and (2) everything smells divine. But there's another perk that pushes the British fragrance boutique into the sublime category: the free hand and arm massage.

 Photo: Stuart Locklear

Photo: Stuart Locklear

When you enter Jo Malone's Cow Hollow shop (2157 Union Street), look for the bar to the left of the door. That's where the massage magic happens. A store consultant will ask you about the types of scents you like, select a few (or many) for you to sample, make you a cup of tea, and get to work concocting a warm cleansing lather. (If you're wearing sleeves, you'll need to roll them up.) After a wash and rinse, the consultant massages lotion into your hands and arms, and finishes the treatment with a spritz of cologne.

Altogether, the process takes about 20 minutes. Pro: your hands and arms will feel and smell so good. Con: You'll look like a weirdo later when you're sniffing your arms while walking down Union Street. (I refuse to apologize for it.)

The beauty of Jo Malone is the brand's fragrances can be layered for a scent that's custom to you. In your home beauty routine, for example, that might translate to using the Wood Sage and Sea Salt shower gel, followed by a Nectarine Blossom and Honey lotion. The hand massage is an opportunity to learn about and experience that layering process before you commit to a combination. That said, you're not required to make a purchase. It's actually a free service, though you'll probably find yourself wanting to buy everything. (I like to pop in for a hand massage when I'm planning to purchase a gift for someone else. Because why not treat myself, too?)

San Francisco may be the most expensive city in America, but you can still find amazing things here for free. As far as complimentary services go, the hand and arm massage at Jo Malone London is one of the best.